HOWARD CRUSE was an American cartoonist known for the exploration of Gay themes in his comics (d: 2019). He was the founding editor of Gay Comix, and created the Gay-themed strip Wendel and graphic novel Stuck Rubber Baby.

Cruse was raised in Springville, Alabama, the son of a preacher and a homemaker. His earliest published cartoons were in The Baptist Student when he was in high school. His work later appeared in Fooey and Sick. In 1977, Cruse moved to New York City, where he met Eddie Sedarbaum, his life partner, whom he married after moving to  North Adams, Massachusetts.